Skip to content

Birth Control Health Center

Male Contraceptive Drug in the Works

Injection Blocks Sperm Production for 20 Weeks in Rats
Font Size
A
A
A
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD


Oct. 30, 2006 -- Scientists report promising results with a male contraceptive drug tested on rats.

The drug, called Adjudin, is a long way from human use. But lab tests on rats showed no signs of side effects, and the drug's effects wore off in 20 weeks.

The researchers included Chuen-yan Cheng, PhD, of the Population Council's Center for Biomedical Research. The Population Council is a New York-based international nonprofit organization that conducts biomedical, social science, and public health research.

About Adjudin

Basically, Adjudin nips wannabe sperm cells in the bud. Those cells, called germ cells, ordinarily develop into sperm. But they need the help of other cells, called Sertoli cells, to reach that destiny.

Adjudin interferes with the process.

Cheng's team previously reported from other animal tests that Adjudin, given orally by itself, was too toxic to be a suitable contraceptive because it caused liver inflammation and muscle shrinkage (atrophy).

So the scientists bundled Adjudin with a synthetic version of the sex hormone FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and injected it into the bellies of four male rats.

The researchers played matchmaker four, six, 12, and 20 weeks later, putting the treated rats in cages with virgin female rats for two to four days.

For comparison, they put male rats that hadn't gotten the contraceptive in other cages with female rats.

The male and female rats mated, as expected.

All the male rats that had gotten the contraceptive shots were infertile four and six weeks after treatment. Their fertilityfertility resumed 20 weeks after getting the shots. That shows the contraceptive is "reversible," the researchers write.

In comparison, all the female rats that mated with the untreated male rats gave birth to baby rats.

No side effects were reported in the treated rats.

Today on WebMD

IUD
Here's what to expect.
man opening condom wrapper
Do you know the right way to use them?
 
birth control pills
Here's what to do next.
doctor and patient
His and her options.
 
Forgot To Take Your Birth Control Pills
Article
pelivic pain slideshow
Slideshow
 
Birth Control Pills Weight Gain
Article
Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch
Article
 
Comparing Birth Control Pill
Article
New Birth Control Pill
Video
 
HPV Vaccine Future
Article
Young couple holding hands
Quiz